Not quite the answer you were expecting, huh?
How does the Shakespeare quote go? “To thine own self be true.” I’m sure there are writers out there who write for pure joy, or to better humanity or some other such thing. I do enjoy writing when it’s going well, but I write to et those pesky stories out of my head. I write for me. If someone gives me money, then that’s cool, but I’d’ve written the story anyway. As humans we crave validation, and I’m no different: I need people to tell me what I’m doing has some value.
Anyway, enough of the self-serving selfishness. More than one person has labeled me “prolific.” One of my super-fans asked me how I write so much and so often on a forum that she and I both use, and I started to reply, but decided a blog post might give me more space to do it properly.
How I write may be even more important to the professional and amateur writers than why I write. It depends on what’s going on, and what project is happening right now. I’ve been known to write 500 words a day before 5am, five days a week. I’ve also tried to throw down massive word counts on the weekends when time is less unruly. I often participate in flash fiction prompts at various sites.
I know this has been said before, but it needs to be repeated: The best way to write is to actually write. Every day. Without fail. The best way to improve is to have others see your work and accept their feedback. Five-star reviews are easy to accept, but we also have to embrace the low-star reviews. This blog is my way of putting out my work for your feedback.
It’s time to reveal another secret: I steal a lot. Yep, let that righteous indignation get you all riled up. A colleague of mine has said that he believes that all literary works are derivative of Shakespeare and the Bible. So in essence, we’re all stealing. I read a lot. I try to read at least two hours a day. If I read a clever scene, turn of phrase or an interesting story, I’ll jot it down for future use. I don’t plagiarize, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I get some of my ideas from other writers.
I’ll also write my own fiction and then months later I’ll rewrite it. This last weekend I posted 6k words of a story. I wrote the original story about a month and a half ago. It was during one of my weekend marathons. The original section posted was only about 4k, and I spent this weekend rewriting and editing it up to my desired word count. I’ll do the same thing next weekend, and likely the following weekend. Hopefully all this rewriting will inspire me to continue what I wrote so long ago. If not, well we’ll see what the future holds.
So in conclusion, I write because I want to. I rewrite and steal, and I try to do it every day. And while you’re at it, how about reading something I’ve published on Amazon and rating it for me. I love that feedback!